eatstoothpicks OP t1_jbb70ay wrote

I've worked for two major analytics software companies and I can for sure say they don't drink their own Kool-Aid when it comes to have a sound Analytics practice. I have also found most analytics professionals (and those leading them) a bit short-sighted and very siloed in their own data. I wish companies in general did a better job of understanding just what and how much they can see with a good Analytics practice. Unfortunately I usually see a bunch of office politics playing havoc with what and how the data should be presented with very little regard to what actually is.


eatstoothpicks OP t1_jbai1lq wrote

Ya I agree about the over-HR'ing of things (everything in general). And sadly it's just just skills we're being measured on these days (just like Gattaca).

Save as much as you can, invest, and have a side-hustle (even if it's a small one). Maintain a good circle of friends and acquaintances. Spay and neuter your pets. [Other good advice.]

But yea, this blows.


eatstoothpicks OP t1_jbahns8 wrote

That's a really big company. Like world-wide super famous company. Looks great on the resume.

They're all about employees self-learning. Now the interesting thing is they all say "Oh please reach out if you have questions and we're happy to get with you to go through things." And, as the technology they're pushing on customers is at best half-baked, everybody has lots of questions. So I reached out. Twice. Only twice. And then I got the feedback that I was asking too much. So that was weird.

The second instance was when we were working with a major defense industry contractor, and the team was absolutely failing to impress the client. Literally in desperation, the director of our team asked me (as a Hail Mary) if I had any good ideas about what we could put in front of them. Now, keep in mind, the client had said the words "You guys keep pushing this flashy stuff in front of us and you're not listening to our business needs. We're pretty much done with you." Up to that point, I'd stayed a little in the background and tried not to make waves, just supporting the leaders with what they wanted to put out. But I did have an idea. It was a little unconventional, but I thought it would be something the client needed. So I built it.

My team leadership (all of them) hated it. And they openly derided me in several meetings, saying my tool didn't look like anything they were producing. (They were mostly referring to my tool sitting on a primarily white background and having low variability in the appearance of the analytics. I did this because I'd worked with people like the client before and I know they appreciate a no-bullshit approach to things.) Anyway, I got all kinds of disrespectful shit about it. And the team leadership, having nothing else to put forward (having utterly struck out with all they're fancy colorful bullshit), put it in front of the client.

The client loved it. They were nuts about it. The department we showed it to immediately started showing the tool to other departments. I mean, they were really impressed. They wanted to meet me, and to know how I built the tool and what calculations I'd used. Again, it was unconventional, but not terribly complicated - very no-bullshit. That single interaction with my tool save the entire account. I'm not even exaggerating. The client had already fired two of our team leads over the course of three months. Things had been going bad. And then, suddenly, the $15M contract was all back on the table and things were progressing.

Did I get any thanks or recognition for that? Nope. The comments were that it appeared I didn't understand my company's vision.

The third part was with a different client. To make a long story short, in several meetings, in front of project management, I asked the client "So you want me to build this? Exactly this?", referring to a tool which had been built in another system. Several times, the client responded with "Yes, build exactly that."

Knowing this sort of thing is a portent of problems, I spoke privately with the project manager to make sure he understood what was going on. I even said that if things go bad, I didn't want to be a scapegoat. He was all cool with it.

So, I built exactly that.

Later in the project I went to show the client the progress, and they (the very same people who said 'build exactly that') said "What's this? This is nothing like what we want." Needless to say I was shocked. And I found out that before I'd even finished my presentation, the project manager was already bus-chucking me to senior management. At the time I didn't know he'd written emails and after the presentation asked him if shit was hitting the fan. Project Manager totally assured me things were fine.

Yeah. Not fine.

Senior management decided to tear me up, and absolutely wouldn't hear anything I had to say. I tried to show them emails supporting me and they refused to look. I really didn't understand all the hate.

Later I found out the project manager was covering his ass and distracting from some of his own poor management. Whatever. I didn't get fired, but the open derision and disrespect was like nothing I'd ever seen.

It likely doesn't sound as bad here as it really was. They treated me horribly. Fuck those guys.


eatstoothpicks OP t1_jbaefnm wrote

I have also seen salaries steeply declining. And ultimately it's not going to serve the hiring companies well. They'll save a little on the front end but they're either not going to get quality people or they're going to get people who aren't particularly enthusiastic to be there. Neither is good.

Keep your data and please publish it. As things tighten up, we all need to know the realities of what we're dealing with.


eatstoothpicks OP t1_jbae3hv wrote

A good buddy of mine (who knows a lot about these things) has always told me: Never use your own money. Use the Bank's money. I mean, I guess you have to have a little money of your own.

Why not start with an online bookstore? If you specialize in hard to find books that would be really super cool. And it would require much less overhead. I say start as a side hobby and see what happens. I've got some ideas of my own I'll be exploring soon.


eatstoothpicks OP t1_jbadugg wrote

Honestly, I just use a Google sheet (spreadsheet). Columns are: Date, Job Title, Company, Job Level, Website Applied Through, Expected Response Date (calculated based on an average response time which is about 2 weeks), Initial Response Date, and then multiple columns for date and description of each interaction.

I'm sure there are automated tools for this kind of thing, but I prefer the manual method as I can control and manipulate the data more. I have other columns for counting being turned down, counting response types and counting interview types.

It might sound more complex than it is.


eatstoothpicks OP t1_jbad0p7 wrote

I agree on most points. AI and ML are definitely considered "nice to have". The funny thing is if a company has a reasonably good core analytics implementation, they're more able to see problems coming and adjust for things in advance. Sadly, most companies don't have good core analytics and so aren't well-armed against the ridiculousness of modern life.


eatstoothpicks OP t1_jb7b0jd wrote

I've had this happen twice - once a while back in a job I actually took. They told me they were hiring me as a marketing manager. Then once hired said, well, it's going to be account executive. I was a little put off, but they said they'd give me a whole county to myself. I thought that might be okay. Go through the two-week (almost utterly useless) orientation and report in to the office where they tell me I'd only get half the county.

Turns out the half of the county I got was already over-saturated and every single customer or potential customer I contacted over 6 months said they hated the company I was working for. Every single one. It was unbelievable.

Actually, I've often thought of writing the stories of my employment. I have quite a few doozies.